Our People

Deeyah Khan – (Fuuse Founder & CEO). Director & Producer

Deeyah Khan is an Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentary film director and founder of Fuuse, a media and arts company that puts women, people from minorities, and third-culture kids at the heart of telling their own stories. In 2016, she became the first UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for artistic freedom and creativity.  She has received many honours for her work supporting freedom of expression, human rights and peace including the Ossietzky prize, the University of Oslo’s Human Rights Award and the Peer Gynt Prize from the Parliament of Norway.

Born in Norway to immigrant parents of Pashtun and Punjabi ancestry, Deeyah’s experience of living between different cultures, both the beauty and the challenges, shapes her artistic vision. Her 2012 multi-award winning documentary Banaz: A Love Story chronicles the life and death of Banaz Mahmod, a young British Kurdish woman murdered by her family in a so-called honour killing.  Deeyah’s second film, the Grierson and Bafta award-nominated Jihad, involved two years of interviews and filming with Islamic extremists, convicted terrorists and former jihadis. One of Fuuse’s recent initiatives, born of Deeyah’s own experiences, is sister-hood, a digital magazine and a series of live events spotlighting the voices of women of Muslim heritage. Deeyah has also produced a number of critically acclaimed albums, including Listen to the Banned, a compilation that brought together musicians from around the world who have been subject to persecution, censorship and imprisonment.

The focus of Deeyah’s work and access to voices that are often overlooked and misunderstood has led to increasing demand as a speaker at international human rights events and platforms including the United Nations. She was described by The Times of London thus: “To say Deeyah Khan is an inspiration is an understatement. She is one of the bravest, most indomitable women… facing down bullies and extremists with intelligence and unflinching spirit.”


Darin Prindle – Producer

Darin Prindle is an Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentary film producer. He has worked on numerous film projects for the BBC, ITV and CNN. Through his work with Fuuse/films, his primary focus is centered on stories from the margins of society. Two of his most recent films address extremism: one deals with jihadism while the other investigates rising white supremacy in America. Jihad and White Right are both available to stream on Netflix.

Darin is the founder of Atlanta based Soapbox Studios, and co-owner from 1998 to 2011. A 22 room facility across two locations, Soapbox provided post-production, filming and recording services for clients including CNN, Turner Broadcasting, Universal Records, Sony Records, Oprah Winfrey Network, Cartoon Network, and Columbia Pictures. Artists and projects that have come through their doors include Rihanna, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Katie Perry, Ludacris, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keyes, and Fergie.

Darin is also the owner of Cohere Media, founded in 2012 which provides broadcast services specializing in final delivery services for colour grading, audio mixing and motion graphics. Recent projects include CNN’s History of Comedy, Archer, White Right: Meeting The Enemy, Jihad: A Story Of The Others, BBC4 Specialist Factual programs including POP! The Science of Bubbles, The Fantastical World of Hormones with Professor John Wass, The Secrets of Quantum Physics with Jim Al-Khalili, Einstein’s Nightmare and Let There Be Life.

Prior to filmmaking, Darin began his career in music, working with artists including TLC, Madonna, Destiny’s Child, Sinead O’Connor and Cypress Hill.

Jett Mall – Production Manager

Jett Mall is a Production Manager on multiple Emmy and Peabody Award winning documentaries. Having collaborated with Fuuse on creative digital media projects since its inception, he joined full-time in 2016.  Since joining Fuuse, Jett has held the role of Production Manager for its documentary films.

Although his role encompasses developing the films from concept and plan right through to final editing and distribution, Jett’s principal focus and passion is the on-site management of the film shoots. The Fuuse operation relies on his expert and diligent management of the production schedules and filming program, call sheets and shoot schedules, location scouting, cast-member and contributor engagement and on-site liaison.

Jett considers himself both fortunate and proud to be a committed contributor to the essential, extraordinary and inspiring human rights mission which drives Deeyah and all of the Fuuse leadership team.

Adil Khan – Producer

Born and raised in Norway, of Pakistani and Afghan ancestry, Adil Khan is a critically acclaimed dancer, actor, photographer, artist and television personality. A household name in Norway, his work and his accomplishments personify the core values of Fuuse – a passion for artistic self-expression in all its forms, combined with a dedication to humanitarian activism, a belief that art and media can give a voice to the under-represented, the dispossessed, the overlooked and the undervalued in all our societies.

Adil first catapulted to national fame in 2006 by winning the Norwegian televised dance competition “So You Think You Can Dance”. He then turned to theatre acting, where he rapidly gained enormous criticial respect, becoming the youngest actor ever to be nominated for the prestigious Hedda Award, the Norwegian equivalent of the Tony Awards. After performing a series of lead roles on the national stage, he played the central character in the acclaimed NRK TV series Taxi. The series won Norway’s equivalent of the Emmy for Best Drama Production and earned Adil a nomination for Best Male Actor. Adil has achieved this success in dance, theatre and TV, despite having no formal training of any kind, relying instead on supreme talent, exceptional work ethic and an instinctive genius for creative endeavour.

From the very beginning of his career, Adil has been determined to use his public prominence to help others, standing for positive change in the lives of individuals, especially under-privileged children and young people. He has participated in a variety of campaigns with the Norwegian Directorate for Health and Social Affairs, Unicef and the Red Cross among others.

Starting out as an untrained street dancer, the son of an immigrant family, Adil has overcome many challenges and difficulties in his life. A multi-disciplinary artist, performer and activist, he has become a positive role model for change, and a symbol of the new and bold face of  intercultural  Norway. Ever intent on self-renewal and pushing back the boundaries of what is possible in artistic and popular media, he is now a part of the Fuuse family.

Dr. Joanne Payton – Research and Information Officer

Joanne Payton is an academic and activist with a particular interest in the global phenomenon of violence against women. Her doctoral thesis is on ‘honour’-based violence in the Middle East, drawing on over ten years of working with the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation. With three masters degrees, including one in research methods, Joanne provides vital background to Fuuse’s work, ensuring that our documentaries, events and productions are well-grounded in current knowledge and debate.

Joanne lectures and teaches at Cardiff University and has published research on ‘honour’-based violence, domestic violence, ethnic minorities and suicide, some of which she has presented at the United Nations. She is an advisor to various British public bodies for the development of policies around domestic violence. She is the co-founder of HBVA, Fuuse’s online resource centre, established to advance understandings of ‘honour’ based violence.

Gareth McLean – Development Producer and Writer

Gareth McLean trained as a journalist and began his 20-year career in newspapers on The Scotsman, in his hometown of Edinburgh. He then worked at The Guardian for almost a decade, writing mostly about television, the arts and LGBT issues. There was one magical article in which he combined all three areas of his expertise – an interview, with Liza Minnelli – after which, he figured, it would all be downhill. And so he began to extricate himself from journalism and move into television.

There, Gareth fulfilled a life-long ambition of working on Britain’s oldest and best-loved soap opera, Coronation Street.  Having long understood the magic of storytelling, he was – after two-and-a-half years as a storyliner – now well-versed in its mechanics. Which is handy should it break down.

After a breakdown of his own – Gareth has had mental health issues for as long as he can remember – he found himself on a road of recovery, and also at a crossroads in life. It was then and there that he met Deeyah. Their paths crossing, fortuitously, at a festival, the pair hit it off and Gareth began working with Fuuse. Since then, he has worked on press and publicity for White Right: Meeting The EnemyAmerica’s War on Abortion and Muslim in Trump’s America, placing pieces in The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, The Evening Standard and The Sunday Post. Deeyah’s writing has appeared in publications as diverse as Grazia Daily, Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter, and Radio Times, and Deeyah herself has graced The Gentlewoman, BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour as well as Broadcasting House, and BBC World Service’s Weekend programme.

As of January 2021, Gareth has moved into development at Fuuse, working with Deeyah to turn embryonic ideas into films of the future.

Gareth also writes his own scripts. His first commission was Queers: Something Borrowed (BBC4 and The Old Vic).  Curated by Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, The League of Gentlemen), Something Borrowed starred Alan Cumming (The Good Wife, Cabaret).

It transpires that Gareth’s ‘writing in the third person’ needs work.

Alice Firebrace – Production Coordinator and Research

Alice has worked in documentary production and research since 2012, as well as in industries including the charity sector and the community sector – reporting on how grass-roots bodies can better seek to influence Scottish Government policy, and with foundations investigating the role of tech innovations on democracy. Her roles have widely sought to encourage meaningful and empowered participation of people in the decisions that affect them, especially with regards to marginalised groups, as well as promoting transparency, fairness and democratic innovation.

Alice holds a Masters degree in Global Environment, Politics and Society from the University of Edinburgh, writing her thesis on environmental and social mechanisms in the participatory spaces of open workshops, going on to participate in international groups to develop future research proposals in the field. Alice brings her background of research, effective financial management and engagement to Fuuse.

Andrew Smith  – Executive Producer

Andrew Smith is the executive producer on Jihad: A Story of the Others. He is also a senior producer on Banaz: A Love Story and also performed editing and camera duties on the film. He has nearly 20 years experience making high-profile, prime-time investigative, narrative and observational documentaries on human rights, international conflict, social issues and public policy, and his work has been shown on Channel 4 and the BBC in the UK, as well as CNN, ARTE, PBS and other international broadcasters. In 1999, he filmed in Kosovo, Bosnia and Serbia for a six-month investigation into the massacre of an entire village of Kosovan Muslims, including tracking down and accusing suspected war criminals. The film won a number of awards including Best International Documentary at the Royal Television Society. In 2003 his Truth and Lies in Baghdad saw him filming an investigation into human rights atrocities in Iraq and he has gained two further nominations for Best Documentary at the RTS Awards in 2008 and 2012, for investigations into religious fundamentalism and child abuse.

In 2003/4, his investigation into the transnational trafficking of children became CNN’s highest rated documentary ever and won him the prestigious US award for journalism, the George Polk Award for Television Reporting. He has won a number of other awards worldwide.

A graduate in English Literature from Cambridge University, he has also made arts documentaries for BBC Radio 4, including A Very Theatrical Revolution in 2009, on Shakespeare’s indoor playhouse, the Blackfriars.

Sverre Pedersen – Senior Producer

Sverre Pedersen has worked in the film- and television industry since 1984. He has directed and produced several short films, music videos, commissioned films, TV dramas and one feature film. Though, it is the documentary film which has been his main area in film production.

He has made a large number of socially committed documentaries with a focus on international solidarity, nature and culture, cultural heritage, anti-war and anti-racism.

In 2005 he was elected President of the Norwegian Film Association and has since worked primarily with film policies, collective bargaining, conflict resolution, copyright and other areas that fall under his responsibility in the Film Association.

Fuuse collaborators:

Kjell Skyllstad – Senior Project Advisor

GRAPHIC HAVOC – Brand Consultation, Identity Development, Art Direction & Design

Julie Tørrissen – Photography + Videography

Cohere – Production, editing, audio and grading services partner

James Wyllie – Legal & Business Adviser